Narrative Poetry Day Three: Drafting Your Narrative Poem

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SWBAT create a rough draft of their narrative poem from their brainstorm page.

Big Idea

First draft of narrative poems

Welcome to My Lesson

Welcome to a set of five lessons I've written about narrative poetry.  These lessons take students through understanding the structure of a narrative poem, as well as planning, composing, publishing, and recording their own narrative poem.  You could easily extend this week of lessons to cover more days, as I felt a bit rushed to finish in one week with my class (we actually had four days :).  

These lessons are part of a larger, six week unit my district is implementing all about mythology, dragons, gods, giants, ancient Greece, and the Olympics.  However, the poems don't need to be themed according to this particular unit.  I gave my students the choice.  If they wanted to write a narrative poem about a Greek god, great!  However, if they wanted to write their poem about their cat, that was great, too!  You'll notice that I have a themed set of papers with mythological clip art, as well as a set with owl clip art.  Please use whatever works best for your students.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you and your poets enjoy this week of narrative poetry. Happy writing!

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.

By Carl Sandburg

 *Clip art in lesson header from My Cute Graphics.  Thank you!

Lesson: Drafting Your Poem

10 minutes

We hop right into our lesson today, as we'll need every minute to get the drafts done of our narrative poems.

Set Expectations:  Each student receives a copy of the Narrative Poem Rubric.   I have them write their name, date, and hold off on the title, being that they haven't drafted their poems yet. We read through the "Rough Draft" part of the rubric noting what should be included in our narrative poems.  I tell students to not worry too much about these things as they start, just to get their creative juices flowing, and start drafting.  They can check the rubric when they're done drafting to make sure they've included all of the requirements of the poem.  (See Resource File:  Narrative Poem Rubric)

Model:  I model for students how I read through my ideas on my Narrative Poem Brainstorm Page to begin drafting my poem.  We are drafting on notebook paper, however, please read my reflection in the next section to hear how I will change this for next time!  As I model, I cross out, change, revise, and model how it's okay to change things as you go.  I continuously refer to the rhyming words on the back of the page, and explain how those will be the "anchors" at the end of each line.  I also let students know that not every line has to rhyme, and that in my poem only some of the lines rhyme.  I complete the first few lines, and then I let my poets begin their drafting process.

Draft Away!

30 minutes

Draft:  The students work on writing their poems using their brainstorm organizer.  I walk around and assist as needed.  I notice that the students need the most help with understanding that the rhyming words are at the end of the line.  Some of them make some lines that are very long, and others very short.  I suggest making sure that each line can fit on a notebook paper line, making that announcement to the whole class. 

My students are completing their rough drafts on notebook paper, but I felt as though they could have used a rough draft page with defined lines.  Please read my reflection in this section about the addition of a rough draft paper.  (See Resource File:  Narrative Poem Rough Draft Page; Narrative Poem Rough Draft Page Unit 6 Themed)

*When your students are completed with their rough draft, you can complete that part of the rubric.


*Border on rough draft page from ScrappinDoodles; owl clipart from Giftseasonstore

Lesson Extras

Here are some other items you may find helpful if you are completing activities related to narrative poetry.  

Home Activity:  Here is an activity you can send home with your students to reinforce learning about narrative poetry at home.  (See Resource File:  Home Poetry Assignment)

Word Choice:  My students also completed a narrative fantasy story during this unit.  These are posters and handouts I created to help with word choice.  You may find them helpful to use with your students while writing poetry, too!  (See Resource Files:  Figurative Language Posters and Word Lists)

Website Links:  Here are some website links for your little poets to learn and play with poetry: 

PBS Kids Fern's Poetry Nook

Giggle Poetry

Kenn Nesbitt's Poetry Fun & Games

Shel Silverstein's Fun & Games

RIF Poetry Splatter

Scholastic Poetry Idea Machine

Jack Prelutsky's Website